Towards the end of Elul someone wanted to donate an item to our Bayit Chadash Gemach and asked a number of questions about who we assist. When she heard that we focus on assisting orphans, currently at the time they marry, she asked where the Chatanim and Kallot come from and why they are orphans. As a suggestion she asked if they were from broken homes, perhaps taken away from their parents? This is a question we get often. Sadly, too many can not understand why or how someone can be without parents at whatever stage of their development that the loss of their parents occurred. Many can not understand the difficulties or struggles of one who is an orphan. Some get angry with me and say someone whose parents died is not in need of help, they must learn to help themselves, or so I get told. I also get asked, why do we specifically give new items to the Chatanim and Kallot we assist.
Over the past few days, 14 children became orphans in sudden and tragic circumstances. Today, people pay attention. Tomorrow people pay attention, but the attention will be short lived. Having worked in a hospital treating the victims of all kinds of accidents, and all kinds of acts of mans inhumanity to man, I know only too well that the visitors are many in the first few days, there are still visitors for a few weeks, but gradually those who are inquisitive loose interest and move on with their lives. The one who has been injured or has lost a loved one has to face this reality from now on for the rest of their lives.
Though I do agree that there are children who are removed from their parents and there are people who die of illnesses, we have many tragedies that take place, especially here in Israel. These tragedies are a sad and powerful illustration of how children or teenagers become orphans and why they might require assistance at various stages of their lives.
Do you stop and think about what happens to the surviving relatives of the various disasters the various Piguim that happen in Israel? Whether it's a bomb on a bus, a soldier lost in war, an attack on a car or on sleeping parents with most of their children, the surviving relatives are left with a great loss.
Who will be there for them to see them off to school on the first day after the Yomim Tovim? I do not mean just this week as the families are involved in sitting Shiva, but every Yom Tov from now on. Who will be there to celebrate their achievements, guide them as they travel the journey of life? Who will be there to prepare the various Smachot, whether it be a birthday, Bar / Bat Mitzvah or a wedding, birth of a child? Who will be there to be the grandparents to their children and to have pleasure from each milestone achieved as the next generation comes into being?
Most people do not internalize the enormity of this loss. Even if the grandparents and other relatives of these orphans have the finances that these children will not lack materially, there is still a loss that can not be replaced. Knowing first hand the heartache of the orphan, we at Chessed Ve'Emet are concerned about the orphan. Our centre is small at present but our goals are many. If you would like to learn more about the services that we offer or to receive our newsletter, please be in touch.
We offer our condolences to the families of those who have died Al Kiddush HaShem and hope and pray that we will merit a time where there will be no more orphans, no more heartache.